16Jul Andy’s 3D Thoughts 16th July

3D ThoughtsNo Trump, No Football and No Brexit!  This week’s 3D iDeas are all about Customer Service! Our 3 Minute podcast highlights the latest release of the UK Customer Satisfaction Index and who’s top, news about how the Church Of England are taking a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach to becoming easier to deal with and how Southern Trains provide some lessons in leadership when it comes to creating a customer centric culture – and they are not positive ones!

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, just click on the image below, listen and … DO SOMETHING!


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13Jul Creating A Customer Centric Culture – 7 Simple Actions For Leaders

“We want to build an enthusiastic, customer-centred organisation. So we’re looking for team members who value honesty and safety, people who are full of new ideas and who want to deliver a positive impact every day”. That’s a statement on Southern Rail’s website (and I suspect there’s something similar on lots of other corporate websites too).

So, when Mark Boon, the head of network operations at Southern Rail’s parent company, Govia Thameslink Railway, was seen and photographed ordering passengers on an overcrowded train to move out of a first class compartment and then taking up an extra seat with his bag and jacket, I’m not sure Mr.Boon delivered that ‘positive impact’ and acted as such a great role model when it comes to being ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘customer – centred’!!!

He’s not alone! The Leading By Example Report from The Institute Of Customer Service, reveals that many leaders fail to lead by example when it comes to demonstrating the skills front-line staff see as being key in delivering quality customer service. The report shows that employees are not particularly impressed with what their senior managers do (or don’t do!) and reveals less than 50% believe that senior executives understand customer needs.

Now, clearly these are ‘perceptions’, but often, ‘perception is reality’ and in a world of crowded markets and ever increasing customer expectations, this can have significant impacts on what front-line staff do (and don’t do) when it comes to customer service!

Creating a real customer centric culture is recognised by many as a critical factor for success in today’s ever more competitive world, but what does that actually mean, and how do the best businesses do it? Our research suggests that they take a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach. These 3D Leaders ensure that their culture (‘The way we do things around here’) is lived by everyone, especially the leaders. So, what should Mr. Boon (and you?) as a leader do to create and reinforce a customer centric culture?

Well, here are a 7 Simple Actions you could consider.

Action 1: Spell Out What You Expect!

3D Leaders ensure that everyone understands what’s expected of them when it comes to customers and customer service. They ensure that their culture (‘the way we do things around here’) is lived by everyone.  It means spelling out what you expect from your people – not lots of nice posters on the wall, and corporate bullshit on the website, but ‘preferred behaviours’ that are spelt out and can ‘be lived in the day to day’. It starts with the leaders and ensuring they live and reinforce these ‘behaviours’ themselves and, crucially, making sure that they are seen to be doing so. Mr. Boon doesn’t seem to have read that memo!

 Action 2: Be A Role Model – Ensure Your Actions Match Your Words!

This is a critical issue. Lots of business leaders say the right things, but don’t actually ‘live’ them. 3D Leaders ‘drive’ this stuff and ensure that they are seen as great role models. They make the ‘preferred customer service behaviours’ visible and talk about them at every opportunity. They put them on the agenda at team meetings, board meetings and corporate communications. They recognise that their people judge them not by what they say, but by what they ‘do’, and crucially, what they are ‘seen to do’. As a result, they ensure that everything they do reinforces the ‘preferred behaviours’.

In other words, it’s not what you say, it’s what you DO… and are seen to be DOING!

Action 3: Stand In Your Own Queues!

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Find out what it’s like to be a customer of your business – does the experience match up to what’s promised? Visit your ‘front line’ as a customer – ring up your own business, visit your own reception, depot or shop, go on your own website – what’s it like being a customer of your business? Click on the image to get a free Stand In Your Own Queues Toolkit to help you do that. Ask your front line people what they think about what’s working and isn’t when it comes to customers and listen to their responses. Asking the questions shows them you see it as important – provided, of course you listen to, and act on, their responses! A simple questionnaire can be a good start (Get someone else to oversee it, not you.), have one to one conversations or group discussions with your people. Why not get some pizzas in, set up a discussion group to highlight ‘key customer issues’. Note – consider getting them to do it without you being there and then feedback the key issues!

Action 4: Create Conversations With Your Customers!

Find out what they think too! Lots of businesses invest a lot of time, money and effort in getting customer feedback which is great. I also think that lots of businesses waste lots of time, money and effort in getting customer feedback. Why? They ask lots of questions, but don’t actually listen, or they listen to the answers and then do nothing about what they hear! 3D Leaders create ‘Dialogue, Not Diatribes’ with their customers – why not create some dialogue with your customers? Give them a call, arrange a visit and find out what they think.

Not sure what to ask? Well, here are 3 questions to get you started…

  • Why do you buy from us? This highlights your strengths and the things you do well – some elements of which you may not be aware of. (Be careful how you phrase this – You might sound as if you’re doubting yourself if you say it wrong!)
  • What one thing do we do or don’t do that irritates or annoys you? This one speaks for itself! The key is doing something about it!
  • What one thing could we do better? Just one thing – it may highlight their priorities and key issues to help identify and develop the areas that count!

Publish, share and discuss the responses with your  people, and do something about what you find out. Make sure that you are seen to be doing so – It’s a great way of reinforcing your customer centric culture. (There are some more questions to consider here)

 Action 5: Champion Your Customer ‘Champions’…

What’s the ‘reward’ in your business for someone who does proactively ‘go the extra mile’ for a customer? What do they ‘get’? Our experience suggests that in lots of businesses, the reward for ‘doing a great job’ is they ‘get’ to do more work! Do you have someone in your team that if you want a job doing well, you give it to them? Even worse, do ‘slackers’ get away with things? Spot and Recognise those that live and demonstrate the behaviours you WANT! Establish ways of spotting and recognising those that are doing things right. Proactively ‘Champion your Champions’, encourage and support them, and where appropriate, highlight them to others in the business – it’s about creating ‘role models’!


Action 6: Challenge Your Challengers…

Constructively challenge those that don’t act in line with your ‘preferred behaviours’ – it’s about making it transparent and consistent!

And finally….

Action 7: Remove Your Blind Spots – See How You Measure Up!

You might be saying ‘I’m doing all this’. Are you really, and if you are, are you being seen to be doing it? 3D Leaders actively seek feedback and put themselves in situations that help them identify the things they’re not doing so well when it comes to this stuff. A great tool we encourage clients to use is STOP, START, CONTINUE where you ask your team what they think that you personally should ‘Stop, Start, Continue’ doing when it comes to being a role model of great customer experience. Again, this could be a simple questionnaire or group discussion – it’s about removing the ‘blind spots’ we all have.  Please remember….. the truth sometimes hurts – you have to listen to what’s said (One client of mine was once told by a team member ‘STOP breathing’!!!)

Whatever you do, the critical bit is DOING SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT YOU FIND OUT!

So, creating a customer centric culture is NOT something you just talk about, it’s something you DO! Even more importantly, it’s what you are SEEN TO DO!

Here are a couple of e-books to help you make that happen – just click on the images to download them..


And finally… if you know anyone at Southern Trains, feel free to forward this to them!!!!

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09Jul Andy’s 3D Thoughts 9th July

3D ThoughtsIt’s Not 3 Lions, but 3 Lessons From Leaders in this week’s 3D iDeas ! We’re highlighting 3 examples of winning leadership from a 64 year old french chef, a 74 year old rock star and a 15 year old schoolgirl all taking a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach. It’s all about vision, values, collaboration, engagement and implementation with lessons from Raymond Blanc, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Danielle’s 15 year old sister, Cheyann!

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, just click on the image below, listen and … DO SOMETHING!


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04Jul Cheyann’s Dramatically And Demonstrably Different Work Experience!

We were very pleased to have Danielle’s younger sister, 15 year old Cheyann, with us on her work placement last week from Ecclesfield School. It was her first time in a ‘proper office’ and she wasn’t sure what to expect. We were keen to ensure that she got ‘stuck in’ and in the traditional Andy Hanselman Consulting style, there was no way that we were going to have her ‘just making the tea’ (although she did… and very well too!).

So, we gave her a few tasks and asked her to ‘get involved’ and ‘get out there’ and visit some other businesses too. Danielle and Cheyann visited a number of our clients and we’d just like to say ‘thanks’ to them for looking after her.

We also asked her to do a blog about her time with us…… and here it is!



“My experience at Andy Hanselman Consulting has been amazing! This week I have learnt many things about the business industry and had a look deep into the ways of financial matters, and even been taught how to place events into diaries. After this introduction to business, I was asked to type up some notes from Andy’s session with Wentworth Woodhouse which I found brilliant as I was able to see their ideas.

On my second day, I had the honour to go around and look at different business industries such as Big Apple Play City in Rotherham to investigate the mind-set of the business. During the visit, I asked the owner, Melanie Jackson, and John, and employee at Big Apple, a number of questions to advise me on how to get the right job and find the correct career. I was given numerous tops for in the future which I thought was very reassuring. The same day I visited Grimm & Co in Rotherham which was a very magical experience. Grimm & Co are a registered charity and change lives ‘one story at a time’. They support under-resourced children and young people with their confidence and skills around creativity and writing. I had the pleasure to be shown around the shop by Louise and be part of the story, I was measured and I am in fact a pixie – who would have thought that? As well as this, I asked the same questions I asked at Big Apple Play City as different people give different perspectives.

In addition to this, I made an Instagram page for Andy Hanselman Consulting which you should definitely go follow – andyhanselman3d. This took a lot of effort and dedication to really show off the business and help grow the reach to customers.

On my third day at Andy Hanselman Consulting I visited a company called Hydra Creative. I was greeted by Amy and Rachel, and also Treacle the Dog. Hydra Creative are digital designers in Sheffield and have worked on a range of areas including website design to branding, graphic design to digital marketing with each created around their client’s unique requirements. I spoke to Amy, the Digital Marketing Manager, who was the sweetest lady I’ve ever spoken to. We talked a lot about how I could get into the beauty industry. We discussed what job could be the best for me and what I would need to be like – she said that I would need to be very positive and lively. I spoke to Amy about my ideas of going into the beauty industry and Amy stated that she had trained in beauty and worked in a salon. She suggested that I should get a Saturday job in a beauty salon to see what it would be like for me to work in that environment and see the training that would be needed such as for Nail Technician, Makeup Artist, and Beauty Supply Sales.

I had the opportunity to work closely with Jill White, a very enthusiastic individual, on a project involving a well-known Sheffield company, Henderson’s Relish. I had the best time working with Jill on this big project as I had the opportunity to learn how we could better the idea and make it more successful. The task was to create a postcard to send to Andy Hanselman Consulting’s customers showing the benefits of hiring Andy. Firstly, I shared my ideas with Jill on how we could really evolve the idea, and then I drew out a brief design plan on what the postcard would look like. This wasn’t easy at first, but after trial and error and fixing any issues with the design, the postcard looked amazing! The next task was to create the tag and figure out what information needed to be placed on it and how to make it ‘stand out from the crowd’.

Finally, on my last day, my task was to write this blog about my experience working here at Andy Hanselman Consulting and what I’ve learnt. I have absolutely loved working here due to, firstly, being welcomed warmly by the staff on Reception at The Quadrant and then working with Jill and Andy, two of the most vibrant and caring people I’ve met, and my sister, Danielle, who helped me to get my work experience here at Andy Hanselman Consulting. I just wanted to say a big Thank You to her for doing this and allowing me to work with her. I’ve had many laughs in the office which has made working in the office a lot of fun, there was never a dull moment. Leaving work with a smile on my face was just the tip of the iceberg.

Throughout my week I have learnt that the ‘Business & Enterprise’ is something to keep in mind when leaving school as maybe even getting a job in the Business industry is not something I had thought about before. I had a lot of fun speaking with the different companies and seeing the different points of view that everyone had. I am hoping that I will be able to do something like this again as it’s very interesting and I think I’ve learn a lot from it and understand what it’s like to work in a business. I’ve really enjoyed myself.

Thank you for the best week Andy, Jill, and Danielle and for letting me work with you.

All The Best In The Future,

Cheyann Sheldon

‘Youngsters’ often get a bad press and many just need a chance to discover more, learn more and contribute more. It was great to see an enthusiastic young lady get involved, ask questions, put forward ideas and contribute (similarities to her sister there!) She did make us feel a bit ‘old’ as well – especially when Jill was ‘getting down with the kids’ discussing the rock band ‘Linked In Park’!!!!

Thanks Cheyann – you’ve got a good one there Ecclesfield School!

All the best for the future – we look forward to seeing you make the most of it!!

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25Jun Andy’s 3D Thoughts 25th June

3D ThoughtsCreating Great Customer And Employee Experiences is something that 3D Businesses Do consistently and this week’s 3D iDeas highlight 2 examples of winning businesses taking a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach to delivering . As well as news about what employees want from their workplace, there’s a story about how Walmart are using drone technology to help them to be ‘easy to buy from’ and a great example of a personalised customer experience from Sytner BMW in Sheffield!

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, just click on the image below, listen and … DO SOMETHING!


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

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11Jun Andy’s 3D Thoughts 11th June

3D ThoughtsHow many ideas do your team generate? What do you do with them? Just one of  this week’s 3D iDeas  could help you improve that by taking a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach. This week’s 3D Thoughts encourage you to assess your approach to innovation, highlight a great example of one business that has taken action with the an idea from one of their team and news of  a convenience store that delighted one of its customers to the tune of $1 million!

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, just click on the image below, listen and … DO SOMETHING!


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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